This study focuses on the function of NSSR1, a splicing factor, in neuronal injury in the ischemic mouse brain using the transient global cerebral ischemic mouse model and the cultured cells treated with oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). The results showed that the cerebral ischemia triggers the expression of NSSR1 in hippocampal astrocytes, predominantly the dephosphorylated NSSR1 proteins, and the Exon3 inclusive NCAM-L1 variant and the Exon4 inclusive CREB variant. While in the hippocampus of astrocyte-specific NSSR1 conditional knockdown (cKD) mice, where cerebral ischemia no longer triggers NSSR1 expression in astrocytes, the expression of Exon3 inclusive NCAM-L1 variant and Exon4 inclusive CREB variant were no longer triggered as well. In addition, the injury of hippocampal neurons was more severe in astrocyte-specific NSSR1 cKD mice compared with in wild-type mice after brain ischemia. Of note, the culture media harvested from the astrocytes with overexpression of NSSR1 or the Exon3 inclusive NCAM-L1 variant, or Exon4 inclusive CREB variant were all able to reduce the neuronal injury induced by OGD. The results provide the evidence demonstrating that: (1) Splicing factor NSSR1 is a new factor involved in reducing ischemic injury. (2) Ischemia induces NSSR1 expression in astrocytes, not in neurons. (3) NSSR1-mediated pathway in astrocytes is required for reducing ischemic neuronal injury. (4) NCAM-L1 and CREB are probably mediators in NSSR1-mediated pathway. In conclusion, our results suggest for the first time that NSSR1 may provide a novel mechanism for reducing neuronal injury after ischemia, probably through regulation on alternative splicing of NCAM-L1 and CREB in astrocytes.
Keywords: CREB; NCAM-L1; alternative splicing; astrocytes; expression.
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.